Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mumbai Restaurants: Part 1

My recently cultivated hobby of photography takes me to South Mumbai almost every Sunday morning. From CST or Churchgate, I walk up to the point of interest, so as to develop some kind of familiarity with the area. What I also love about the journey is the breakfast at some famous restaurant before heading back to IIT. This is an n-part survey of restaurants. I do not interview the restaurant owners, so no history about who established the restaurant, when did he/she do it, etc. Just my views on the menu and the overall ambiance of the area.

Ram Ashray Udipi Restaurant

Ram Ashray Udipi Restaurant

Located off Matunga railway station (Central Railway). Get out of the station on the eastern side and walk towards King's Circle. The restaurant is a two-minute walk from the station. Authentic Udipi cuisine for breakfast. If you go there on a Sunday, beware. The rush hour starts pretty early. The restaurant gets crowded and even if you are two people, you may have to wait for at least 15 min. But, I guarantee the wait is worth it.

Once inside and seated, do not expect a menu card, they don't have one. So, you either ask the waiter what's on the menu or just rattle off your order. While every dish served is awesome, I would personally recommend vada-sambar and onion uttappa. The sambar and chutney served are amazingly tasty and the good part is that you are served as much as you ask for, at no extra charges. The dosa preparations are a bit oily, but the dosas have a thin crust and are very crisp, an indication of a good preparation. Now, since breakfast always ends with a hot beverage, and this being a Udipi restaurant, do not forget to have coffee. This is not the regular nescafe, but it is filter coffee made in the tyipical Udipi style. And the cost of all this, not too much. A breakfast consisting of one plate idli-sambar, one plain dosa and a cup of coffee is just Rs. 35/-

Once you are done with your breakfast, you can sign-off with a 'pan' placed at the cashier's desk. And, while going back, do not miss the weekly commentary by Nana Chudasama, put up on the banner in front of the restaurant. The day I visited the restaurant, the banner was as shown below-

Nana Chudasama's banner

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